England in India 2011-12 October 28, 2011

England's cup of shame runs over

This latest drubbing in India arguably represents a lower ebb than the ones before, and ought to give cause for concern for the future
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For India's cricketers and their fans, this year's Diwali was an especially joyous occasion. For England, on the other hand, the light and sound of a million Kolkata firecrackers cannot atone for the five damp squibs that preceded them. It's been a humiliating fortnight on and off the field, and there's still time for one last comeuppance. On Saturday, the side that sits at the top of the World Twenty20 rankings will slink back into Eden Gardens, hoping against hope that they can exorcise the memories of their 10 for 47 collapse in Tuesday's whitewash decider.

Excuses will not wash. England knew that taking on India in their own conditions, and moreover in their first home series since winning the World Cup in April, would be an exponentially tricky challenge, far removed from their 3-0 success amid the showers in September. Nevertheless, all the signs were that they intended to tackle the challenge head-on. As proof of the management's intent, if nothing else, the squad departed for the country a full 10 days in advance of a series that was done and dusted in 11 - which is longer than India themselves had allowed in the build-up to a five-week Test series in July.

For all the good that preparation did the players, they might as well have rocked up in Hyderabad on the first morning of the series and taken pot luck with the conditions. Long before the final indignity in Kolkata, England's campaign had degenerated into farce and recrimination. Their most cherished standards of discipline deserted them as their players ended up either at each other's throats or in the faces of the opposition, and their battle plans for the subcontinent were once again been revealed to be several decades out of date.

If England thought they'd been embarrassed by defeats against Ireland and Bangladesh in the recent World Cup, then at least their fighting spirit in that campaign was rarely called into question. Here, on the other hand, England proved to be all talk and no action - more of a rabble, arguably, than they had been in their last 5-0 trouncing by India in November 2008, when they could point to the world-class contributions of Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag, and concede they didn't have a prayer.

This time England had opportunities to dictate terms in at least three of the five contests, but were muscled off the ball by an Indian outfit whose collective desire to prove their detractors wrong far outstripped any incentive that England could muster. The most surprising barometer of England's failings was their inept fielding - catching and run-saving alike - while an inability to rotate the strike was the most striking feature of their pusillanimous batting. Astonishingly England actually struck more sixes in the series than India - 14 to 13 - a fact that, in theory, bodes well for the Twenty20. But then again, drowning men always tend to make more of a splash than those who pop out for a casual morning dip.

"I thought we'd learned lessons from three years ago and put in place training drills which would equip our batsmen to deal better with the conditions out here," said England's shocked coach, Andy Flower. "But obviously I'm wrong in that regard."

The 2015 World Cup in Australia may be the long-term target for this one-day squad, but they'll be returning to Asia for more fun and frolics in the New Year, and in January 2013 they'll be back for another seven-match series in India - a country in which they have now won just one ODI out of 18 since 2002. It's an emasculating statistic for a team with England's ambition and resources.

Unless their shortcomings in such conditions are addressed forthwith, the contagion is in danger of spreading - not just into their preparations for the faster, bouncier conditions in Australia in four years' time (where their 6-1 post-Ashes record isn't much to write home about either) but into their world-beating Test squad as well. Just ask Duncan Fletcher for guidance on that point. His England Test side reached the cusp of greatness in the 2005 Ashes, which was the same summer in which his ODI team finally gelled as well. But when the rot set in thereafter, it was all-consuming.

If England thought they'd been embarrassed by defeats against Ireland and Bangladesh in the recent World Cup, then at least their fighting spirit in that campaign was rarely called into question. Here, on the other hand, England proved to be all talk and no action

The great Test teams of the past 30 years, West Indies and Australia, have ruled the roost in both formats at the same time - largely because they have been able to reap the benefits of permanent superiority, as well as utilise the breadth of squad that success on two fronts requires. And to be fair, that is one of the reasons why England travelled to India with rare optimism this month, because as their one outstanding player, Steven Finn, demonstrated, the desire to keep up the pressure on the incumbents in the Test team ought, in theory, to be propelling the many youngsters in this next tier to new heights.

That wasn't the case on this trip, however, where too many players dipped too far below the standards that England currently expect. Tim Bresnan, whose stamina and accuracy had marked him out as the attack leader, claimed as many wickets in five games as he had managed in that one epic tie in the World Cup in March; Graeme Swann, chastised by the coach for some untimely comments in his autobiography, lacked spark, penetration and joie de vivre, and his two botched slip catches in Delhi and Kolkata were crucial and crushing moments.

Ravi Bopara, apparently on the up after a starring role in the home series, shied away from the chance to fill Eoin Morgan's boots, and finished ignominiously when Suresh Raina bowled him round his legs in Kolkata. Jonny Bairstow found himself overawed, having glided through his debut in Cardiff without stopping to take in the significance of his new status. And then there was Craig Kieswetter, finally unleashed in conditions that should have aided his inside-out boundary-clearing potential. A run-a-ball 63 in Kolkata could not mitigate some sketchy work behind the stumps, and was probably not enough to save his career in the short term.

Excuses will not wash, because England knew what was at stake in this series, especially in this era of social media in which everything exists in the now, and past performances, good and bad, are quickly forgotten by the masses. They could have no complaints about the conditions either. Nevertheless, the timing of the series - so soon after the end of the English season - did the tourists no favours, just as had been the case in their post-Ashes 6-1 thumpings by Australia in 2009 and 2010-11. To judge by the gaps in the stands throughout the five games, England weren't alone in feeling jaded by the experience.

There is a wider issue at stake as well, which is one that the keyboard warriors on Twitter and Facebook will debate until cyberspace flows over, even if the teams themselves move quickly onto the next challenge. For India's disaster in England, and vice versa, it was all too easy for the respective sets of fans to pretend it did not matter. England's rise to the World No. 1 spot in Test cricket was the only story that resonated for their supporters, just as India's triumphs in one-day cricket - the World Cup in April, the whitewash in October - sated their own. The polarisation of priorities is an undeniable concern, though not one that will overly bother either fan base, so long as England and India perpetuate their successes in their favoured forms of the game.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cricmatters on October 31, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    There is no stand out no. 1 team in Test Cricket like WI and Australia of the old who could win in all conditions most of the times. The ICC rankings do not tell the whole story as the top four teams will continue to topple one another depending on where they play each other. England no doubt has improved a lot especially in bowling dept. however others are not far behind and can catch up any time. I doubt if England can retain their hunger to post a few series wins away from home.

  • on October 30, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    Is Andrew Miller actually English.The reason i ask,is because he constantly belittles the England team.After the test series victory over India and rise to number 1 Test side it was "Yes but we havent got any stand out players like Australia and West Indies did when they were the best".Now its "Australia and West Indies dominated both forms of the game".It is interesting that West Indies havent dominated since they were stopped from bowling 6 bouncers an over and trying to frighten batsmen out.The fact is England are number 1 in Tests and T20,so why not enjoy it,rather than constantly find reasons to slag the team off.Yes we lost in India ,so what .Who won the last World Cup in India,yes India,not Australia,not South Africa,not West Indies,not New Zealand but India.The fact is India are a good side in their conditions.I believe the so called great Aussie side won 1 Test Series in India in 04/05,otherwise their record over there in Tests was poor.Were we always slagging them off No.

  • on October 29, 2011, 21:38 GMT

    My prediction, India will win 2015 World Cup in Australia. Dhoni's juggernaut can not be stopped. Mark my words.

  • on October 29, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    India winning the CWC in India was a phenominal acheivement. Imagine the pressure on the home team, especially Indian team in India. Its the biggest acheivement ever in Cricket World Cup. No other team has managed to do it. I think for Indian team, it was the Mt Everest to climb, and they have done it. Hats off to them.

  • on October 29, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    well to all those who say india won world cup becouse wc was in india tell me which other team has won CWC at home a CWC final at home plz keep searching and you will keep searching for ever until someone does is it future

  • on October 29, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    These matches were of no interest to me whatsoever. I couldn't even be bothered to turn on the TV to watch more than a few deliveries. There are far too many ODIs and it is annoying that county sides are constantly denuded of their best players to either play in or prepare for these pointless matches. These matches will be quickly forgotten, just like nearly every other ODI. All these matches proved was that Indian sides are stronger than England in Indian conditions, just like the matches in England in September proved that England were superior in English conditions; surprise, surprise. The only ODIs which matter are those played in the World Cup and the next one is in Australia, not India. Preparing for it by worrying about performances in India is as pointless as an Army or Navy preparing for war by re-fighting one that finished 20 years ago, maybe like the French did in 1939-40.

  • on October 29, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    Good at T20 cricket, have had an amazing run in Test Cricket recently. But I fail to understand why they have been so miserable in One-Day International Cricket.. Year after year poor show at World Cup & Champions Trophy! Even minnows surprise them with sour defeats at times.. Can any English fan explain the reason of being good at 'real' & 'virtual' cricket but not at it's hybrid version ?

  • bobmartin on October 29, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    As someone has already said... let's not get carried away. In the past 5 years, the ICC ODI ratings have been dominated by Australia, with Sth Africa occasionally holding the number 1 spot. Neither England nor India have ever reached those heights. This was therefore merely a series between two also-rans neither of whom are serious contenders. It certainly didn't cause a seismic shift in the ratings. India are the world cup holders, having won it by playing every game barring one in their own backyard. Did England really have a chance against them.. Only in the optimists wildest dreams. So why the big surprise ?

  • JG2704 on October 29, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    @cric_fanatics on (October 28 2011, 08:58 AM GMT) - LOL , There are no excuses from England fans on this thread. In fact it was all going well from both sets of fans on this thread until you put your 2 penneth in. I have already posted on how Indias injured performed when they did actually play in the tests and they were really poor. Have you looked up the word HYPOCRISY? - maybe do so and then look at yourself in the mirror. It's a shame for this thread in that so far you have had English fans and Indian fans both being honest about England's dismal performance in the ODI series and then we get this from you. What a shame. PS please quote these excuses from England fans on this thread - I don't see any?

  • JG2704 on October 29, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    @Raju Rangan - Glad you're amused. England are currently the best test side in the world according to the ICC rankings. Sure it's by a narrow margin which could even be overturned by SA before England play again but we've earnt our ranking just like India before us did. I'm sure you Indians were having the ICC rankings as gospel when you were number 1. We have a long way to go before we can be compared to Australia (90s/2000s) and WI 70s/80s , but for now we are independently ranked the best , even if it is only fora few short months.

  • cricmatters on October 31, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    There is no stand out no. 1 team in Test Cricket like WI and Australia of the old who could win in all conditions most of the times. The ICC rankings do not tell the whole story as the top four teams will continue to topple one another depending on where they play each other. England no doubt has improved a lot especially in bowling dept. however others are not far behind and can catch up any time. I doubt if England can retain their hunger to post a few series wins away from home.

  • on October 30, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    Is Andrew Miller actually English.The reason i ask,is because he constantly belittles the England team.After the test series victory over India and rise to number 1 Test side it was "Yes but we havent got any stand out players like Australia and West Indies did when they were the best".Now its "Australia and West Indies dominated both forms of the game".It is interesting that West Indies havent dominated since they were stopped from bowling 6 bouncers an over and trying to frighten batsmen out.The fact is England are number 1 in Tests and T20,so why not enjoy it,rather than constantly find reasons to slag the team off.Yes we lost in India ,so what .Who won the last World Cup in India,yes India,not Australia,not South Africa,not West Indies,not New Zealand but India.The fact is India are a good side in their conditions.I believe the so called great Aussie side won 1 Test Series in India in 04/05,otherwise their record over there in Tests was poor.Were we always slagging them off No.

  • on October 29, 2011, 21:38 GMT

    My prediction, India will win 2015 World Cup in Australia. Dhoni's juggernaut can not be stopped. Mark my words.

  • on October 29, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    India winning the CWC in India was a phenominal acheivement. Imagine the pressure on the home team, especially Indian team in India. Its the biggest acheivement ever in Cricket World Cup. No other team has managed to do it. I think for Indian team, it was the Mt Everest to climb, and they have done it. Hats off to them.

  • on October 29, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    well to all those who say india won world cup becouse wc was in india tell me which other team has won CWC at home a CWC final at home plz keep searching and you will keep searching for ever until someone does is it future

  • on October 29, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    These matches were of no interest to me whatsoever. I couldn't even be bothered to turn on the TV to watch more than a few deliveries. There are far too many ODIs and it is annoying that county sides are constantly denuded of their best players to either play in or prepare for these pointless matches. These matches will be quickly forgotten, just like nearly every other ODI. All these matches proved was that Indian sides are stronger than England in Indian conditions, just like the matches in England in September proved that England were superior in English conditions; surprise, surprise. The only ODIs which matter are those played in the World Cup and the next one is in Australia, not India. Preparing for it by worrying about performances in India is as pointless as an Army or Navy preparing for war by re-fighting one that finished 20 years ago, maybe like the French did in 1939-40.

  • on October 29, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    Good at T20 cricket, have had an amazing run in Test Cricket recently. But I fail to understand why they have been so miserable in One-Day International Cricket.. Year after year poor show at World Cup & Champions Trophy! Even minnows surprise them with sour defeats at times.. Can any English fan explain the reason of being good at 'real' & 'virtual' cricket but not at it's hybrid version ?

  • bobmartin on October 29, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    As someone has already said... let's not get carried away. In the past 5 years, the ICC ODI ratings have been dominated by Australia, with Sth Africa occasionally holding the number 1 spot. Neither England nor India have ever reached those heights. This was therefore merely a series between two also-rans neither of whom are serious contenders. It certainly didn't cause a seismic shift in the ratings. India are the world cup holders, having won it by playing every game barring one in their own backyard. Did England really have a chance against them.. Only in the optimists wildest dreams. So why the big surprise ?

  • JG2704 on October 29, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    @cric_fanatics on (October 28 2011, 08:58 AM GMT) - LOL , There are no excuses from England fans on this thread. In fact it was all going well from both sets of fans on this thread until you put your 2 penneth in. I have already posted on how Indias injured performed when they did actually play in the tests and they were really poor. Have you looked up the word HYPOCRISY? - maybe do so and then look at yourself in the mirror. It's a shame for this thread in that so far you have had English fans and Indian fans both being honest about England's dismal performance in the ODI series and then we get this from you. What a shame. PS please quote these excuses from England fans on this thread - I don't see any?

  • JG2704 on October 29, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    @Raju Rangan - Glad you're amused. England are currently the best test side in the world according to the ICC rankings. Sure it's by a narrow margin which could even be overturned by SA before England play again but we've earnt our ranking just like India before us did. I'm sure you Indians were having the ICC rankings as gospel when you were number 1. We have a long way to go before we can be compared to Australia (90s/2000s) and WI 70s/80s , but for now we are independently ranked the best , even if it is only fora few short months.

  • dsig3 on October 29, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    Both India and Eng are fallible and far from worthy of being compared to the Aussie dynasty of the 90's and 2000's or other great sides. India and England are merely keeping the seat warm for a better team. In 20 years people will remember Waugh and Pontings team while no-one will remember the imposters that followed.

  • on October 29, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    This is my point. I won't say that England or India is the better team. Both the teams beat the other side at home. Neither team could be considered World betaers. India have the eternal deficiency of genuine fast bowlers which will prevent them from holding the top spot always. As far England, I still wonder why Harmison, Flintoff, Trescothick etc. who were top perfomers never performed consistently. Even now how many will consistently perform like Hayden, Ponting or Gilchrist. Still Dhoni proves to be a better captain as he consistently talks about where his side can improve which helps India to do well. This was the case of Dhoni even after the world cup when he said, we have to groom our youngsters for the future. After the 5-0 whitewash presently, he tells we have to improve our fast bowling.

  • 5wombats on October 29, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    @JG2704 - hey mate. To answer your question - no - this level of aggro is unheard of on Cricinfo. The problem is in coming to terms with changed realities. Some people think that because India beat England in a Test series once in 2007 - that this somehow makes India "permanently better" than England. Then you have people who think that because Australia used to beat England this means India are permanently better than England. These people are not able to grasp reality and their opinions can safely be discounted. England fans have seen our fortunes gradually rise and like you we are desperate to make sure the world doesn't discount it. Hence the pitched battles! The other thing is the ridiculous excuses which were also a feature of the SL tour. It's convenient to ignore or excuse bad performances but it doesn't make them go away. Miller is OTT here though. Truth is in ODI we can beat anyone at home and so can India. It balances. Aus are good in ODI, doesn't mean they are good in Tests

  • aakasharun on October 29, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Good thoughts from Andrew Miller although a tad tough on some players. Well. wherever is Mr.Ian Botham nowadays? Not long ago he opined that the current English team are " World-Beaters"(sic) of some sort. This should be a lesson to other "wise old men" in world cricket in how to give measured expert opinions that do not border on unwarranted hoopla. Do people like Mr.Botham give a false sense of security(i.e. overconfidnece) to the English team ?

  • on October 29, 2011, 0:34 GMT

    Phew. After 15 matches between the two teams in quick succession, it's time to draw breath. So, what have we learned? We've learned - worryingly - that both teams are highly vulnerable in alien conditions; that England are no better at combatting spin on the sub-continent than India are at coping with swing & seam in England; that we both have hugely exciting young guns - Morgan, Broad & Finn for England, & Rahane, Kohli, Ashwin & Aaron (all of whom, I was delighted to see, are in the Indian squad for the Test series against the WIndies) - who'll carry us forward in our upcoming battles with South Africa & Australia as well as those between ourselves; that Dhoni is a far more inspirational captain than either Strauss or Cook; that Tendulkar, Laxman, Harbhajan & Zaheer have had their day; & that England persisting with ODI 'specialists' such as Kieswetter, Bopara & Dernbach - rather than playing their best X1 across both formats - is a monumental mistake. Can't wait for India 2012. :~)

  • itsthewayuplay on October 28, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    Whoops in my post of 10:53 AM I meant to say that having seen the matches 'Having seen the matches, they were NOT as one-sided as the results suggest'.

  • xylo on October 28, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    I don't think Keiswetter was "sketchy" behind the stumps. While he did make some mistakes, he held on to some magnificent catches as well. Lets not lose perspective here.

  • ElPhenomeno on October 28, 2011, 20:33 GMT

    ODIs mean less than a test series win when looked at in isolation. But I'd much rather win the world cup than any test series against anyone. For me, world cup is still the pinnacle of any sport.

  • JG2704 on October 28, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    @Amit Bhatnagar - As I have posted before , the 3 series in India since 2000 have gone 1-0 India , 1-1 , 1-0 India and 2 of those series were before we wereanywhere near the side we are now. I understand the fact that we now need to prove that we can win in India but IN TESTS we're only losing by one test in 2 of the last 3 series so we should at least have respect for us as a test side

  • on October 28, 2011, 18:57 GMT

    England should learn playing quality spin ,...and Indian batsmen Ready for short of length body lined bowling !!!! For better world cricket Test No.1 are to be respected -->My view .( Becoz, Skills in al departments are tested atmost) @ England Fans : Can england Try out with graham napier ? ? ? He's some sort of talent . Hope next clash between both teams is fun and Competitive for either FANS ..CHEERS!!

  • InnocentGuy on October 28, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    In the last 3-4 years, England have convincingly won a test-series abroad only in Australia, considering only the top 7-8 test playing countries. Most of their test series have been at home, where a team is supposed to play well. India on the other hand have been good tourists since Ganguly's team went to Australia in 2003/2004. They have won or drawn most series away from home or lost very closely (Kumble's team in 2008 - that was an umpiring fiasco to say the least). No doubt England are a good test side, but one Ashes victory in Aus doesn't mean they are the best around the world. I would say India deserved the Test #1 status when they had it. To me, England still need to prove their title.

  • on October 28, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    "England's cup of shame runs over", really Miller you don't think you might be blowing this defeat out of proportion a little?! All England's fine performances in the last 2 years will not be forgotten because of this tour.

    As for the ODI vs test arguemnent, It's a tough one. Speaking personally, ODI's will always mean less to me than Tests. If England had a fine ODI team but lost it's test matches, that would really wouldn't sit well with me and I'd be wanting changes. Now we've got a very good test side, but a mediorce ODI team, it doesn't really upset me. I guess I see test matches as the highest, toughest and most demnading form of the game. Any other type of cricket, for all ODI's and 20/20's charms, pales in comparision.

  • sweetspot on October 28, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    There is too much emphasis on preparation with England and not much heart in their game anymore. This fact will show up again and again when sheer ability to rise up is required. Alastair Cook's captaincy is as insipid as can be. If England lose one Test series badly, their boat will get rocked again. I have absolutely no doubt Test cricket is on the decline and it will be left to the other formats to get the game's popularity up in the rest of the world. Where does England want to be? In some sort of nostalgia?

  • indianzen on October 28, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    England proved to be all talk and no action...

  • ARIALROOT on October 28, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    THE Problem With English side is the lack of interest in O.D.I. I think they don,t even care about their O.D.I performance. in 35 years of ODI history no english batsmen till date haven,t played 200 odi,s yet.strange ,a sub continent player playing 300 odi,s is for them equivalent to 100 odi. u can easily count the players who had played 100 one day matches for england .they need a decade to play 100 one day matches, a player from subcontinent need maximum 5 years to play 100 odi matches. these stats means a lot.

  • on October 28, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    @ Kunal. WoW - they must be making the most of that 1% then, as they are number one T20 and number 1 test side in the world. Talk about dedication. Playing 99-1 odds and still being the best in two formats. Hats off to talentless England. Perhaps India should be less talented - then they might be better at test cricket..or am I not underastanding the word "talent" correctly? I think I'll go and look it up.

  • Wiserwhisper on October 28, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    @big_al_81.. Mate..u remind me the 'sour grapes' story.. With due respect to first class cricket, i do see lot of test cricket lovers consistently follows ODIs and makes posts regularly just to say ' Look! i dont like this format'? LOL!! if you dont like, why bother posting?!

  • foursandsixes on October 28, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    @Andrew, you don't think Eng would have been outclassed in tests in India? Since they didn't play any, we will never know sure and it is only opinion, but I think they would have been. It is not a question of format alone (tests vs. ODI), but also adaptability. The young Indian team / players did not prepare and adapt well to cold and wet English conditions (there were other reasons as well), and the English did not adapt to Indian pitches and conditions. Their performance would have been only marginally better in tests in India.

  • Nampally on October 28, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    A Brilliant summation of the tour, Andrew.It is so refreshing to see a journalist stating facts "Like it is". I was totally sickened by the respective fans from England & India failing to accept the follies of their teams abroad. You rightly said that "It was easy for respective sets of fans to pretend it did not matter". I personally feel that that the respective Boards should take this matter very seriously. How can a team perform so well at home and so shabily abroad? They say where there is a will (to Win)there is a way.In the ODI #5 with England 129-0, victory was in the grasp of England. How can you lose 10 wkts. for 47 runs.The players have lot of soul searching to explain such debacle. India certainly pulled out a Win out of certain loss in ODI # 5 or shall we say England converted an easy win into a loss.The big question remains to be answered - on the so called flat track,how could Indian pace bowlers do better than England pacers.Except Finn & meaker Eng. bowlers were poor

  • Rex_Da_King on October 28, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    @big_al_81 Tendulkar also holds the record for most Tests played so don't just speak about the number of ODIs he has played and try to prove a theory that India only loves ODIs.

    First of all, I must tell you and many English fans who brush off this 0-5 loss as meaningless since it didn't involve Tests to look at the ground realities.

    English batsmen were clueless against spin- and this includes most of the test batsmen too. With the sole exception of Trott, everyone in the English side struggled.

    If they were to play a Test series against this Indian side it would unquestionably be another humiliating loss to England.

    This is the same reaction the Indian fans had when India lost the first 2 Tests against England. They were confident that their team, with the addition of Sehwag, Gambhir etc., would not lose any more Tests and hence will remain No.1

    But they were just holding onto blind hope. England is not good at ODIs and it's not the best in Tests either- Just good at home.

  • on October 28, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    gud funny cricket by england...

  • chapathishot on October 28, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    As pointer out rightly by Miller,All the commentators remarks that England will easily beat India in ODIs in Austrailia or South Africa is rubbish.No one plays ODI cricket in conditions as existing in England and also the effectiveness of the fast bowlers is considerably reduced in ODIs due to various rules favoring batsmen. When India won the Inaugural T20 World cup in SA they also gave a thumping to England bowlers in Durban one of the quickest wickets in the world.The real question to be asked is why Cook couldn't win a single ODI when he won four tosses.When the due factor was to be considered he never batted second except last match ,are they so worried about batting second or facing spinners.Yes the result was not good when they batted second I agree but never know if he tried it Delhi or Mohali

  • on October 28, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    England is not even 1% of india in terms of naturally talented players.

  • tanweeralam on October 28, 2011, 14:30 GMT

    I think its harsh to compare England or even India with the Aussies of the last decade. They had 5-6 match winners and leader playing at the same time. The problem with England in India was not talent but application and ability to handle pressure. Cook might be good but was clearly under pressure which was very much visible on his face and action. The same English side which counted on their fielding for the India Summer rout were dropping dollies and letting pass the ball between their legs. Probably the pressure created by the hype of this so called revenge series has done them in. One visible flaw in their batting was ability to rotate strike against spinners which was evident even during the ODI series back in England. Absence of Morgan and out of form Petersen and Bell didnt help either. Kietswarthy does not has the range and will be a sitting duck for quality bowler which makes top order vulnerable.

  • InnocentGuy on October 28, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    India are good at home (as any team should be, coz after all you can't call it 'home' if you aren't good in your own backyard). As far as touring goes, Eng won the Ashes. After that they haven't toured anywhere for a test series yet. Since 2008, England have lost most test series abroad. On the other hand, India toured and drew series in SA, won in WI, lost a close one in Australia (not in that order). Yeah they had a 4-0 drubbing in England this summer, but I wouldn't say that was the way India plays abroad. It's definitely a one-off occurrence. In general, under Kumble and recently Dhoni, India have performed far better than England have, on away tours. We'll see how the future goes and then compare both team's performances abroad.

  • Rahulbose on October 28, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    Why the surprise? Eng have almost never played well in ODIs in sub-continent. Only series I can recall are the Mumbai win with Flintoff going shirtless, 1987 WC and the Sharjah series they won under Adam hollioake. For the most part they don't even care about winning in ODIs.

  • nickydude on October 28, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    If we take in to account, Ind-Eng ODI series in last 5 yrs, then here it is:- 5-1 for Ind in 2006, 4-3 for Eng in 2007, 5-0 for Ind in 2008 ( wud've been 7-0 in any case, if not for 26/11 !) 3-0 for Eng in 2011 & 5-0 for Ind in 2011, which effectively comes to 18-8 effectively!.. Cheers Ind:)

  • on October 28, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    the english team is not an undisputed number 1 side. SA,AUS and IND are also in the line. england with the current squad will never beat IND in india. you need some nasty fast bowlers and skilled extra aggressive stroke players to beat IND at home. the upcoming tour of AUS will decide IND test reputation in the world. ENG too dependent on trott and swann. they may be no 1 in test now but it will be a huge challenge later playing in sub continent. meanwhile AUS and SA tiff is mouth watering!!

  • Naresh28 on October 28, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    The 2007 India in Australia series, India lost 2-1. Here is a link to that series:- http://www.espncricinfo.com/ausvind/engine/current/match/291352.html In those games Sachin, Laxman,Dravid and Ganguly played major innings. They proved that India could play good cricket outside India. Not to mention some great bowling by Kumble, Zaheer, and Ishant Sharma. Sachin and Laxman actually scored big hundreds then. People suggesting that India would be walloped 4-0 even before the series starts should look at that series. A few months ago in the "Emmerging Players tournament" in Australia India came out TOPS.

  • Juiceoftheapple on October 28, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    It is strange the difference in following test and ODI cricket. One is a 5 day test of resolve, ability, skill, endurance, controlled aggression, backs to the wall last stand drama, with the ebb and flow of fortunes, the fall and rise of heroes, knowing a session of brilliance can turn the game, with the players hugging the precipice between failure and glory, not rushed, but indulged like few things are these days, something for the viewer to dip in and out of as the days unfold within our busy lives - or an excuse to relax for a few. Then theres ODI's......hitting loose balls for 4's and keeping up with the other teams run rate, and all over before you can get home from work.........................hmmmm. I'm with Big Al all the way, lets play proper test series, with full crowds, with teams that care about test cricket, the rest is a bit of fun and money.

  • 2.14istherunrate on October 28, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    Nothing will persuade me from the view that in organising this series the organisers shot themselves in the foot with a cannon. The home 'crowds'( or lack there of obviously agreed). How much spontaniety and quality performance can one wring from a team that's already been there and done that. Cricket, not England, was the loser.

  • on October 28, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    I am amused by all the "We are the best in test" comments by the English fans. Come on lets be honest... the current English side, while good, is not the best. Definitely not the Aussie of 2000's or the WIs of 1990s. They still have to prove a lot. To begin with they have to beat SA to convince me of the superiority.

  • on October 28, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    India's ODI victory should not let the administrators forget that the team was well below England in terms of talent during this summer's tour. While Broad, Anderson and Bresnan looked like that they could get a wicket during any spell, most of the Indian bowlers looked fairly ordinary except for the first day in Trentbridge. Also, quite a few batsmen appeared technically ill-equipped to handle the extra pace, bounce and movement. India needs bowlers who can reverse-swing at will (Ishant, Varun and Sreesanth need to learn), a good attacking leg spinner and bowlers who can swing the new ball at a decent pace (nothing against Pravin who has the heart of a lion, but his pace just would not cut it) We still need to get 20 wickets to win a game

  • SagirParkar on October 28, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    wonderful article Mr Miller.. made for a thoroughly enjoyable read.. perhaps one of your best summations in recent years after the article on Stuart Broad earlier in the summer.. please accept my applause..

  • S4CHIN_IS_GOD on October 28, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    Lets get it straight English and Aussie Fans. India won world cup in 1983 in England. Bouncy Pitches. India went to world cup Final in South Africa. Bouncy Pitches. India battered Aussie in the last VB series in Australia in 2 finals. Bouncy pitches. England lost 6-1 in aus. Bouncy Pitches. Just because you got bowlers like Finn, doesnt mean you will be best. In those pitches our neighbours Pakistan would be lethal for all teams. England you just not good enough, you are not inventive. relying on foreign players with no love for home soil and supporter, how you going to win.

  • Winsome on October 28, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    It doesn't provide that much concern for the future. It was very much an experimental squad, all the players would have learnt something about what it takes to play on these type of pitches. I think this is being overblown to some extent. I wish the Aussies would occasionally send over a lot of new players on a tour instead of the same old, same old. It's one way to get experience into your young players instead of just having them carry drinks for series on end.

  • big_al_81 on October 28, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    Look (as the Aussies would start all their sentences when about to say something emphatic and often obvious), we're just not that good at ODIs and like Mr Miller says, I don't care massively. Tests are just that. The Indians love ODIs (look at the sheer number Sachin has played, it's insane!)and we, frankly, don't. And I'm sure I remember that when I was just getting into cricket we went deep into World Cups at times when we were pretty dreadful in Tests so maybe let's leave it to India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan to fight out World Cups and England, the Aussies and SA can fight out the honours in Tests. If we end up with a decent One Day side so much the better but I can live without it if we manage to beat the Aussies in Oz and thrash India here.

  • on October 28, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    The problem with England is its captaincy. They don't have a captain like Dhoni or Ponting who steps up when the team needs them. on the other hand Cook in this series was just waiting for someone to do the job and win the match for them. in the present one day cricket a captain with fierce, aggressive and never die attitude is required. or else i don't see England progressing forward in one day cricket!

  • itsthewayuplay on October 28, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    Don't understand the author's comments why shortcomings in ODIs could be more exposed in the faster, bouncier conditions at the next WC in Australia. Based on the current bowlers and experience surely these conditions will favour Eng more than Ind and especially Fin who if he keeps improving and is fit and in form will be a frightening prospect.

  • itsthewayuplay on October 28, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    From an Ind supporters' perspective: 2 reasons why the shock for Eng is that much more is because (1) Eng probably thought they could carry their test form and processes and therefore results into the ODI format. (2) there was nothing shown by the Ind bowling, especially the spinners, in Eng to suggest that Ind would cause any problems to the Eng batsmen even in Ind. However The Ind spinners improved in helpful conditions as the series went on and were excellent in the last 2 ODIs. Who would have thought Eng fielding would have turned out it way it did whilst Ind was solid. Dhoni and to a slighter lessor extent Raina not only rescued the team a few times with the bat but went on to put them into match winning positions. Eng on other hand squandered good opportunities. The inability to rotate the strike causing risky shots was also a key to not being able to set or chase challenging totals. Having seen the matches, they was as one-sided as the results suggest.

  • Naresh28 on October 28, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    Theres no point in predicting results "4-0" down under. Its as though India has a weak team that cant even put up a fight. We are not that bad playing outside India. We have close results like 2-1 loss or drawn series. Look closely and you will see that the 4-0 (tests) drubbing we got in the tests (England) was a one off series. A few months ago we were no1 in tests. To have achieved that we went both inside and outside India. On the one hand we have Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan(sub continent) on the other - New Zealand, South Africa, Australia,England and West Indies. It is difficult to schedule games in single calendar year- maybe the ICC should ask for equal no of games between these two blocks in a calendar year. Whos the best can only be told in the future and the way I see it there wont be too many one sided results. A future "test championship" will do wonders for test cricket.

  • JG2704 on October 28, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    @meety - yeah probably right about Eng playing 40 over rather than 50 over cricket games. Just thinking , there used to be a 50 or 55 over cup (can't remember the exact figure) The Benson And Hedges and a 60 over Gilette cup and the JPL (40 overs) and the county games were 3 days long. Since the restructure over the years it seems we've gradually improved in the test arena but regressed in ODI's - coincidence?

  • JG2704 on October 28, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    @amitgarg78 - great balanced post mate. I do still think that when we play India in the test format that we will win but I can't see England being able to repeat the summer scoreline and neither can I see India reversing such a big winning margin in such a short space of time - certainly not by inns as some would say on here. It will certainly be a harder fought series than the OD series in India and the test series in Eng. Personally re Anderson and Broad - top versions of those players would have made a difference but they can also be erratic in this form of the game. Re Morgan , I do feel that he'd have made a difference as he's a very cool customer but then again India can say that they would have widened the gulf if guys like Sehwag and Yuvraj etc were available so it's horses for courses and why risk Jimmy burning out in a format which he isn't always effective at when he is so crucial in the test arena?

  • nlight on October 28, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    India in England had plenty of support, sometimes as much as the home side. England in India faced relentlessly hostile and unsporting crowds.

  • JG2704 on October 28, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    PS - Also re WI , as recently as 2009 - 51 all out and we know what happened from then on to the England side. Maybe false faith/hope - but in recent years I've seen England lose matches badly and bounce back and be on the brink of losing matches where they've held on for a draw.

  • JG2704 on October 28, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    I agree no excuses etc and it seems another case of 1 step forward 2back. I think they play with more fear in ODI's. There were times when they did well in the bowling powerplay and then reverted back to putting their inner circle fielders back rather than keeping them in and exerting more pressure.However I dont really see that there was that much at stake.England would not have risen to more than 3 with a great performance and even with the turgid performances they put up they only drop to 5.They have proven in recent years that they can bounce back from bad defeats. In ODIs they had an awful series vs Australia and then lost to Ireland & Bangladesh in the world cup and they get back to the test arena and they're firing again. Even in wc they beat SA and drew with winners India. Even in the test arena they were comprehensively beaten by Aus who levelled the 2010 series and many thought Aus would have the momentum to go on and it turned out Eng fought back and dominated rest of series

  • Gordyjh on October 28, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    We're World No1 in Tests....enough said. Who cares about the "hit and giggle" game anyway?

  • Valavan on October 28, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    @Anshuman ganguly, your comments are giggling me, where were you when India was no.1 in tests, why didnt you say the same comment about test cricket. Since the WC2011 was won, you would say ODI is the better format, By the way ODI world cup was played in India, India is the best ODI side to play well in Indian or subcontinent conditions. The same was said when India won T20 WC back in 2007, T20 will replace ODI because India was ranked 6th in ODIs in 2007. You can twist words as you wish, dont spill arrogance that England never rise in ODIs. The same arrogance did you back in England the whole summer. Speaking about rain and DL rules, DL existed way back from 1994, where did u all go then. so accept it India plays best in home conditions, way to go for any team including the ODI WC champs India to dominate the World Cricket as WI between 1976 - 1994 and OZ between 1995 - 2008. cricinfo please publish.

  • hris on October 28, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    @Anshuman Ganguly. wow. just cause India failed miserably in the tests, now test are outdated. Only before the world cup, people were questioning the need for ODI's. And now because India won, we still have ODI cricket being played. Had Oz won the 4th time in a row, Indian, English and other fans would be clamoring shouting for its removal. This is the same attitude that Indian and English fans have--- Proclaim that format the best in which their team happens to be doing well at the time. Its ODI's for Indian fans, and Test for the English. Thats why these two teams can never be anywhere close to being Great. Great Teams play well in all formats in all conditions, not whine about the formats they struggle.

  • vatsap on October 28, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    If I was English, I wouldn't be bothered about yet another meaningless oneday series played in a long season. The current English team is the best in tests, I am sure they would have pushed India more in India, than what the Indians managed in England (unless of'cos the Indians prepared a day one turner). Chill out guys, and sit back on the great run your team has had since last November in Australia.

  • cric_fanatics on October 28, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Plain illogical excuses for 5 utterly humiliating defeats..When half injured indian team lost in england..after the exhaustion of the WC and the IPL,the fatigue factor was forgotten. HYPOCRISY at its best.and btw the indians were more tired this time around too because of the CLt20,they didnt have the luxury of preparing for 10 days,still they have insulted the poms pretty bad.

  • Nutcutlet on October 28, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    @ Meety, you're quite right, mate! There is absolutely no sense in England's domestic one-day comp. being 40 overs per innings. 50 overs per side is a no brainer - but that always challenges the powers that be. Aside this, I have never thought that Graham Gooch is the best batting mentor-coach for a tour of India. His own batting was characterised by powerful front-foot play in the V, all forearm, strong wrists and guardsman-like. That is a suspect technique on a bunsen, where delayed shots into the gaps is the effective way to rotate strike and keep the scoreboard ticking. Graham Thorpe knows this; it's his tried and tested method.The absent Eoin Morgan has it; none of the rest does. Why wasn't Thorpe used? Horses for courses need not apply only to players! The fielding lapses are less easy to explain, especially as India's shone. Lastly, I hope that Indian fans are beginning to see the emergence of a new exciting team that looks disciplined and focussed in the Duncan Fletcher mould!

  • AlanHarrison on October 28, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    The most relevant paragraph is certainly Miller's last. Otherwise this pandering to "this era of social media in which everything exists in the now, and past performances, good and bad, are quickly forgotten by the masses" demonstrates what is wrong with media coverage these days, especially of issues far beyond cricket. It is true that many influences encourage people these days to act like they have the attention span of a goldfish, but that doesn't mean people who are paid to write have to pander to this. When England were winning last summer they were being widely depicted as world beaters, and utterly invincible in the media. Then they lose a few matches and all of a sudden their "cup of shame runs over". Neither of these extremes are true. The assertion that in cricket history ODI and test success go together is also wrong. West Indies flopped in the 1987 (and 1992) world cup, then lost 3-0 in an ODI series to England, but still didn't lose a test series from 1980 until 1995

  • Hindh on October 28, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    This tour has been nothing but an embarrassment for the highly over rated eng team. They have been exposed of their inability to play spin and have been brought to ground rather quickly after their egos were over inflated in english summer. India as always a great team have bounced back stylishly......

  • Y2SJ on October 28, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    England needs to improve their ODI game. They did the same mistake India did in England - thinking that they can show up and just win.

  • KP_84 on October 28, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    During the cricket world cup, even the matches not involving India were well attended - I recall that during the match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Mumbai, the stadium was almost at capacity. This makes the fact that the India-Eng series was played in front of half-full stadiums all the more significant. The BCCI has so far worked according the principle of "too much cricket is not enough [for Indian cricket fans]"; when in fact, the old saying "you can't have too much of a good thing" seems much more applicable. The fans get their fill of limited overs cricket from the IPL and Champions League. India should play less ODIs and more Tests.

  • 2929paul on October 28, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    Andy Flower gave an excellent post series interview. He did not try to shirk responsibility and said he would have to review the preparation and decisions he and the management/coaches made. He was disappointed and embarrassed by the way the players performed, specifically in the last match but I suspect in all the matches. He was critical of the way the players could not produce the required skills nor cope with the pressure. And I would think there will be changes made after this tour. Personally I think Cook is not the right man for the job. He is not a one day batsman and has very little captaincy experience at all, both of which showed. Kieswetter's approach may work in T20 but his keeping is poor and his batting not consistent enough. Bopara has had his chances and failed on too many occasions, lacking in temperament it seems. And why the Counties cannot help England by agreeing to a 50 over rather than a 40 over domestic competition I don't know.

  • sam_screaming on October 28, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    There is just too much theory behind England's ODI cricket. They are thinking too much of specialists and in the process leaving out the best 'abroad' players that they can play as english. England want a death over specialist, a big hitting specialist, a middle overs specialist, an opening specialist.... phewwwww... Take a break. Also in Cook their specialisation in captaincy doesnt seem alright. Play your best 11 players and you will be winning more matches.

  • amitgarg78 on October 28, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    This has to be the most balanced piece i have read on the encounter. India were so inept in England that the only shining light was Dravid's performance. England on the other hand, became "chirpy" as vaughan mentioned and were soundly thrashed despite all the cheap talk at the start of the return leg. England failed to do what India had set out (and failed) to do a few months ago - beating the competition away from home, in unfamililar and hostile environment. what I do find amusing, is that the stock of a few players has risen by their absence. Anderson, Broad, Morgan are all brilliant players but has their absence been key to this loss? Anderson goes for more runs, at a higher average and gets less wickets in India, when compared to his career. Broad has similar statistics. While this may not consider their growth in recent years, would they really have made the difference? I doubt. Its down to skills and preparation. India goofed up on preparation while skills have cost Eng.

  • on October 28, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    Indian team are the ones who have taken a temporary break from white wash.There will be a 4-0 drubbing down under starting 26th Dec.Preparations are on!!Harbhajan being recalled based on Dhoni's recommendation!!!!lol now if that doesnt make Clarke happy what will..merry xmas and happy new year Aussies!!!

  • Meety on October 28, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Another point I'd like to make is that as long as the ECB continue with a domestic 50 over comp that is actually 40 overs, the ODI sode will remain crud, the current talent will (particularly batting), will not be able to calibrate, & youngsters will never know.

  • on October 28, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    In order to be called the best test side, England have to prove themselves in subcontinental conditions. Their record in the subcontinent is not too flattering, and it is a shame that test matches have not been scheduled with England in India. The best test sides of all time - WI and Australia - were able to conquer India at home. England needs to do the same to gain recognition and respect in the eyes of Indian fans.

  • satish619chandar on October 28, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    The rhird game proved what England really needed to do.. Be 170-180 for 3/4 wkts at the end of 40 overs.. Last ten can be well utilised.. Because we have two powerplays over within 40, one good bowler would have finished his quota(Finn for England and Ashwin for India).. Now you will get atleast 3 overs of hittable bowlers and should utilise it to the max.. India did it in almost all the matches.. Apart from the first match, the Batting PP was not that great but they ended the last 10 in a flourish.. Tactically they lost it..

  • Percy_Fender on October 28, 2011, 4:36 GMT

    England came well in advance and were prepared. In fact Brothwick's bowling and Bairstow's batting in the Hyderbad preparatory games pointed to an interesting tussle. The problem was probably that the tour management did not have the confidence to try out Bairstow at No 3 and select Brothwick in more than just one game Even if one were to conceder that tradition is very important in English cricket in matters of selection-- they usually select promising cricketers late--I believe the two aforementioned players are champions of tomorrow.Finn is another and I am sure he is going to be a Magrath clone,outswingers,yorkers and foul mouthing et al.But make no mistake.Australians are going berserk with the arrival of Cummins but I think Stephen Finn will tower over him.Losing to India in India is no disgrace. And that too to a young and energetic team of future stars.So I feel England should move on to their coming assignments with confidence.They are a team of the present and the future.

  • sramesh_74 on October 28, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    India's cup of joy would have been complete if Stuart 'the enforcer' Broad and 'Jimmy 'snarling' Anderson had been part of the tour party !!!

  • Harvey on October 28, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    I agree with the general thrust of the article, but are India's fans really feeling "sated" by this series victory? Or are they feeling like many of England's fans did at the end of the summer, namely that the performance and general attitude of their opponents was so far below that expected of a supposedly top international team that their victory had a slightly hollow feel to it?

  • Meety on October 28, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    Fantastic article. Whilst, I was not thinking the Brownwash as being a "contagion" to the other formats, (merely that it will set a tone for their Middle East/Asian jaunts), it is a pretty good guestimate! I have never thought that highly of Strauss as a captain, (good test opener), & thought Cook was destined to be far better as a captain, however I maybe wrong on both counts. Whilst I still don't accept that Strauss tactically is very good, maybe his man-management is first rate? Dunno. I have long harboured the view that bringing a player like Cook into the ODI side is not a good a thing, I thought the same when Tubby Taylor crossed over from tests. It coincided with a decline in Test results, (but man some of his captaincy in ODIs was brilliant). Same with Cook, the things that held him back as a Test batsmen was the nibble outside off, which is encouraged in ODIs - glancing to 3rd man. Take away his great 290 odd, & he had a lean summer test-wise! (Wait for the scoffing!).

  • SaumendraBaj on October 28, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    ..Andrew, for all your guile behind a dull-looking wall of words, your parting shot gave it all away. That the "cyber-war" vexes the Brit boast about being the number one in Test cricket, is all too clear-sounding in your closing lines. You may find it hard to hear, but England are as flitting a numero-uno Test side as are South Africa and India, in no particular order.

    Talk of introspection and analysis.. your article had all the clarity of a fogged window.

  • on October 28, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    England have never been a decent one day side, nor will they ever be.

    Test cricket is an outdated 18th century concept, and crowds have dwindled everywhere except England. Perhaps that is the reason that they are number one (for the time being). However, those sissy singles and two's aren't going to get them anywhere in the format that matters(and the format the World Cup is played in).

  • on October 28, 2011, 3:18 GMT

    I feel competent to comment only on the recent Eng vs. India series. All these screaming headlines look a bit immature and short-sighted. India has a problem dealing with a green-top & until they address that in India itself, and make available all types of wickets for teams from other lands, it can't claim to be "sporting". That may or may not set an example for others to follow, but at least India would have done its duty. With 1.2 billion people, and with players emerging nowadays from the hinterlands, whether there is a spectator fatigue or not, BCCI has a responsibility to provide opportunities for as many of the emerging players as possible to play international cricket. That may not necessarily make monetary sense in the short run, but BCCI would done its duty.

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  • on October 28, 2011, 3:18 GMT

    I feel competent to comment only on the recent Eng vs. India series. All these screaming headlines look a bit immature and short-sighted. India has a problem dealing with a green-top & until they address that in India itself, and make available all types of wickets for teams from other lands, it can't claim to be "sporting". That may or may not set an example for others to follow, but at least India would have done its duty. With 1.2 billion people, and with players emerging nowadays from the hinterlands, whether there is a spectator fatigue or not, BCCI has a responsibility to provide opportunities for as many of the emerging players as possible to play international cricket. That may not necessarily make monetary sense in the short run, but BCCI would done its duty.

  • on October 28, 2011, 3:34 GMT

    England have never been a decent one day side, nor will they ever be.

    Test cricket is an outdated 18th century concept, and crowds have dwindled everywhere except England. Perhaps that is the reason that they are number one (for the time being). However, those sissy singles and two's aren't going to get them anywhere in the format that matters(and the format the World Cup is played in).

  • SaumendraBaj on October 28, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    ..Andrew, for all your guile behind a dull-looking wall of words, your parting shot gave it all away. That the "cyber-war" vexes the Brit boast about being the number one in Test cricket, is all too clear-sounding in your closing lines. You may find it hard to hear, but England are as flitting a numero-uno Test side as are South Africa and India, in no particular order.

    Talk of introspection and analysis.. your article had all the clarity of a fogged window.

  • Meety on October 28, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    Fantastic article. Whilst, I was not thinking the Brownwash as being a "contagion" to the other formats, (merely that it will set a tone for their Middle East/Asian jaunts), it is a pretty good guestimate! I have never thought that highly of Strauss as a captain, (good test opener), & thought Cook was destined to be far better as a captain, however I maybe wrong on both counts. Whilst I still don't accept that Strauss tactically is very good, maybe his man-management is first rate? Dunno. I have long harboured the view that bringing a player like Cook into the ODI side is not a good a thing, I thought the same when Tubby Taylor crossed over from tests. It coincided with a decline in Test results, (but man some of his captaincy in ODIs was brilliant). Same with Cook, the things that held him back as a Test batsmen was the nibble outside off, which is encouraged in ODIs - glancing to 3rd man. Take away his great 290 odd, & he had a lean summer test-wise! (Wait for the scoffing!).

  • Harvey on October 28, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    I agree with the general thrust of the article, but are India's fans really feeling "sated" by this series victory? Or are they feeling like many of England's fans did at the end of the summer, namely that the performance and general attitude of their opponents was so far below that expected of a supposedly top international team that their victory had a slightly hollow feel to it?

  • sramesh_74 on October 28, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    India's cup of joy would have been complete if Stuart 'the enforcer' Broad and 'Jimmy 'snarling' Anderson had been part of the tour party !!!

  • Percy_Fender on October 28, 2011, 4:36 GMT

    England came well in advance and were prepared. In fact Brothwick's bowling and Bairstow's batting in the Hyderbad preparatory games pointed to an interesting tussle. The problem was probably that the tour management did not have the confidence to try out Bairstow at No 3 and select Brothwick in more than just one game Even if one were to conceder that tradition is very important in English cricket in matters of selection-- they usually select promising cricketers late--I believe the two aforementioned players are champions of tomorrow.Finn is another and I am sure he is going to be a Magrath clone,outswingers,yorkers and foul mouthing et al.But make no mistake.Australians are going berserk with the arrival of Cummins but I think Stephen Finn will tower over him.Losing to India in India is no disgrace. And that too to a young and energetic team of future stars.So I feel England should move on to their coming assignments with confidence.They are a team of the present and the future.

  • satish619chandar on October 28, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    The rhird game proved what England really needed to do.. Be 170-180 for 3/4 wkts at the end of 40 overs.. Last ten can be well utilised.. Because we have two powerplays over within 40, one good bowler would have finished his quota(Finn for England and Ashwin for India).. Now you will get atleast 3 overs of hittable bowlers and should utilise it to the max.. India did it in almost all the matches.. Apart from the first match, the Batting PP was not that great but they ended the last 10 in a flourish.. Tactically they lost it..

  • on October 28, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    In order to be called the best test side, England have to prove themselves in subcontinental conditions. Their record in the subcontinent is not too flattering, and it is a shame that test matches have not been scheduled with England in India. The best test sides of all time - WI and Australia - were able to conquer India at home. England needs to do the same to gain recognition and respect in the eyes of Indian fans.

  • Meety on October 28, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Another point I'd like to make is that as long as the ECB continue with a domestic 50 over comp that is actually 40 overs, the ODI sode will remain crud, the current talent will (particularly batting), will not be able to calibrate, & youngsters will never know.